Hen Parties, Hen Do’s, whatever you want to call them, are BIG business these days....
This afternoon I am delighted to welcome Kate to the blog with her first diary entry. Last week we heard from Alison and her wedding dress story as we discussed Fake Vs Real wedding dresses (the real ones won by a long way!) Today it’s another ‘vs.’ as Kate talks us through her Dream wedding vs. Reality. I’m sure many of you have found yourselves in the same situation when getting engaged, big dreams of a certain sort of wedding but then as reality hits compromises have to be made! Kate talks us though her choices and the decisions she has had to make.
You can read Kate and Andy’s full introduction post HERE
This is a topic which I think most brides struggle with – that fight between the idea that you are the bride and you should be able to have the wedding you have probably always dreamt of, and the fact that not everything you desire is actually attainable, in the cold light of day, when looking at that dreaded word – the ‘budget’!
I think it all depends on your expectations for your day, and of course, how much money you feel able to spend! I don’t think it really matters where the money is coming from, its more to do with whether you feel justified in spending that much money on what is, essentially, just one day. But is it just one day? It is YOUR wedding day, not just any day. It’s a day when memories are made, and let’s face it, a day when more photographs will be taken of you than any other. So it should be made special. But does special mean that more money has to be spent?
In this post, I wanted to talk about this because it is something which I have been constantly thinking about since Andy and I got engaged – what would I really like our wedding to be like, and how can I get as close to that as possible, without breaking the bank?
I think the answer lies in two parts: 1) Being creative, doing lots of DIY and enlisting the help of friends; and 2) Being realistic about costings and maybe, dare I say it, compromising. Decisions need to be taken about where compromises can be made, and where they can’t! For me, the look of the wedding is very important, and it would matter to me what the carpets were like and the chairs (oh, the chairs! I’ve realised I have a thing about chairs… the bows on the back of the typical wedding chair are just not for me, and this is something I really cannot bring myself to compromise on, no matter how hard I try!). Having worked as a stylist, and now a designer-maker, the styling of the whole day is very important to me, but also something that I really enjoy thinking about and planning. I know this seems crazy to some people, but your wedding should reflect you right?!
I have also had to think about reducing the size of our wedding. ‘Why not have a small wedding and then just a party another night?’ For some this may be fine, preferable even, but I have always pictured all my friends and family being there at the whole wedding, and it wouldn’t seem right without them all (I’m talking about 60–70 people, so not ridiculous numbers!). May be this is just one thing I don’t feel I can ‘compromise’ on.
But I have had to change my view of our wedding several times, and by this I mean that not everything I would wish for is possible, but I can cope with that – I know it will be wonderful anyway, without the chandeliers in a beautiful barn, the large oak tables, the free-bar all day and night, the string quartet and the retro ice cream van!
I have actually realised whilst writing this post, that our wedding will have a lot of my ‘dream wedding’ ideas and yet still within budget because so much of it will be ‘DIY’ with the help of many friends: My neighbours are terrific cake-makers so I signed them up straight away for our wedding cake, I’m lucky enough to have a good friend who is a wedding photographer, and Andy’s brother is a lighting technician – perfect for the dancing! We are getting the wine for the reception from France (where my bridesmaid’s parents live for half the year), we’ve made sure the caterers don’t charge a crazy corkage fee (don’t get me started on that one!), and we’re going to ask evening guests to ‘bring a bottle’ – we all do it for parties, so why not for a wedding? The caterers will be reasonably priced and the dessert will be home-made cakes made by any of the guests who fancy baking and bringing it along for the dessert table, yum yum.
All those jars I’ve been collecting will look lovely with flowers in (arranged by ourselves!) and lace tied round them, the favours we are making ourselves, and the invitations/place names/table plan too. My chief bridesmaid Jo is also my business partner and together we run Katey & Josephine making handmade gifts, including clutch bags (or bridesmaids bags which we are currently designing as a new range!). So our creativity will undoubtedly be put to good use in lots of areas of the wedding, thereby saving money yet still achieving the things I would really like.
If you are naturally a creative person, this can save you so much money, and also make your wedding day even more personal. But even if you’re not, creative friends will always be willing to help I’m sure. Creative inspiration, I have found, doesn’t come any better than Pinterest. It is brilliant for getting ideas, and for putting together a whole ‘look book’ for your wedding. However, a word of warning – as great as Pinterest is for providing inspiration, it also sets your ideas even higher, which means that you may then be more disappointed when your real wedding doesn’t match the wedding you have planned on Pinterest! Use it realistically – just take ideas and then make them your own, adapting them to your budget and what is possible for you.
For some of you, may be your dream wedding IS reality, and that is brilliant, but for those of you who are feeling a great divide between the two, I hope you manage to find a happy medium. From what I have read, your wedding day is always one of the best days of your life, and if that is true, it will surely be up there with the best dreams ever anyway.